Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

My Sex Questions: When, Who, and Why?
image by Daniela Castillo
My Sex Questions: When, Who, and Why?
I want to have sex for the right reasons.

Names have been changed.

“My boyfriend is coming to pick me up from school—isn’t that sweet?” Eileen said, reading her text message. “Aw! That is too sweet,” I replied with fake enthusiasm, thinking, “No one ever picks me up.” Then I crossed the room and saw my friend Vanessa pressed against the wall with her tongue in Paul’s mouth. I mumbled, “Great, a reminder that I don’t even know how to kiss.”

Why was having a boyfriend so important? My girlfriends always talked about their boyfriends and I silently envied them. I always felt ugly or like something was wrong with me. Why did no boy like me? What was different about me? What was I not doing?

These questions were especially hard for me because as a little girl I was sexually abused and never felt like a virgin. I never really felt like I learned how to love from my mother because she was mentally ill. My father beat me, but luckily he moved away when I was young. Because I was fatherless, I didn’t know how to talk with or act around men.

The older I got the more confused I was about men. My mother told me they were terrible and not to be trusted, but my friends had boyfriends and they looked happy. I wanted to be happy like them, and my hormones were pulling me toward the cute guys in my class.

I met Sammy through my foster sister. I immediately noticed his figure: not one of these muscle machines nor a twig, but in-between, which I like. He had brown eyes, strong cheekbones, perfect teeth, and full lips. Right away he asked me a whole bunch of long questions. My replies only lasted milliseconds—my name is … I am 16. He told me he was 18.

I was shocked about all the attention he was giving me, and he was shocked at how little I had to say. “So, you’re not much of a talker?” he said. I nodded and said, “It’s a good thing you are.” I could feel my face turn red and butterflies in my stomach.

Lots to Learn

We began to hang out more often. I was clueless that he was hitting on me. . .

[read more]